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Award winning Tibetan writer denied China passport BEIJING: A Tibetan poet and activist will not be able to receive a US government courage award in person after China denied her a passport for "national security" reasons, she said on Friday. Tsering Woeser, an ethnic Tibetan writer, was one of nine women due to receive an "International Women of Courage" award at a glittering event in Washington on Friday, hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry and First Lady Michelle Obama. But Woeser, who has written on Tibetan issues for decades, said she was unable to leave China to receive the award, after being routinely denied a passport. "I applied in 2005, and last year," she said. "Last year I was told: if I leave the country it will threaten national security," she said. China's foreign ministry blasted the award as an attempt to "interfere in China's internal affairs", echoing comments made when jailed Chinese dissident Liu ...

Eleven dead, dozens injured in Vietnam bus crash HANOI: At least 11 people died and dozens more were injured when two passenger buses crashed early Friday in central Vietnam, a policeman said.The collision happened after midnight in coastal Khanh Hoa province, leaving 49 people injured, a local traffic police official told AFP."The accident has killed 11 people so far. We don't know yet how many were in the buses when the accident happened. Investigators are working on the case," he said, requesting anonymity, ...
Philippine MANILA: A self-proclaimed Philippine sultan whose followers launched a deadly incursion into Malaysia last month called Thursday for a ceasefire, following a major offensive by Malaysian troops.Jamalul Kiram III declared a unilateral ceasefire for 12:30 pm (0430 GMT) and urged Malaysia to reciprocate, according to a statement read out by his spokesman in Manila.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...
South Korea president urges end to political deadlock SEOUL: South Korea's new president, Park Geun-Hye, urged opposition politicians Thursday to behave responsibly and resolve a parliamentary deadlock that has paralysed her incoming administration.Ten days after she was sworn in as the country's first woman president, Park is without a fully functioning cabinet at a time of escalating nuclear tensions with North Korea."The new government was launched amid difficult circumstances, but regretfully it hasn't even been able to start working properly," Park acknowledged in ...
5.6-magnitude quake shakes buildings in Taiwan TAIPEI: A shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook buildings in Taiwan's capital Taipei on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were with no immediate reports of damage or casualties.The quake struck at 11:36 am (0336 GMT), 36 kilometres (22 miles) northwest of Hualien city on the east coast, at a depth of just nine kilometres, the USGS said.Taiwan's Seismology Centre said the tremor was felt across the island, confirming the 5.6 magnitude, but the National ...
Gay white wedding held at Tokyo Disney TOKYO: Two lesbians have become the first gay couple to tie the knot at Tokyo Disney Resort, both decked out in fairytale white dresses despite an initial ruling that one had to wear men's clothes."My love Hiroko and I wore wedding dresses and had a mini-parade in DisneySea, a place I also love," Koyuki Higashi, 28, said on Twitter."I was really happy!" she said.The event on Friday was the first homosexual wedding in the popular ...
North Korea threatens to scrap armistice accord SEOUL: North Korea threatened on Tuesday to scrap the armistice signed in 1953 to end the Korean War, citing high tensions caused by joint South Korean-US military exercises.The North's military also said in a statement on state media that it would close a military hotline in the border truce village of Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013 ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln